Imagine being married to a wealthy individual for decades. You’ve had a lovely life together — or so you thought. You learn there’s been infidelity numerous times in the marriage on your spouse’s side and you’re ready to divorce. Unfortunately, you quickly realize you have no money — your spouse has seen to that. How would you fight for what is rightfully yours?

New businesses are sprouting up across the country with a unique goal — provide divorce funding. This relatively new service provides some individuals with the money needed to file for a divorce, pay attorneys’ and accountants’ fees and in some cases, provides living expenses.

How is the money repaid? It depends on which company the individuals use. This is a loan and the interest rates can vary significantly. Some companies require payment from an awarded settlement; others simply require payment when the divorce is final. The minimum loan amount is generally 20 to 25 percent of the expected settlement or between $100,000 and $250,000. This means the anticipated settlement is between $400,000 and $1 million — and that’s the low end of expected settlements. As you can see, these loans are not normally for the everyday person, but for those who have significant wealth.

Few individuals are actually approved for the loans, according to one company. For example, they only approved one in 10 applications.

Using such companies to fund a divorce drastically cuts into a divorce settlement; however, many who use these services may not have any settlement without the loan.

If you have been shut out of access to marital assets, an experienced divorce attorney may be able to provide more information on divorce funding.

Source: The New York Times, “Divorce Funding Firms Help Spouses Expecting Big Payouts” Paul Sullivan, Feb. 27, 2015